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Physics & Astronomy: Writing & Citing

Information for Research in the Physical Sciences.

What You Need to Know

Which style should I use?

The citation style you use depends on a variety of factors. Many disciplines tend to use one particular style over another (APA for psychology, for example). Your instructors may require you use a certain style, so ask about which manual to use before you start your research. If you are publishing one of your works, your editor may require that you use of a certain style.

If you aren't required to use a certain style, use one that you are comfortable with and that best fits your needs. Just follow the guidelines and be consistent.

Disciplines in the sciences use a variety of style manuals and many science publications use their own distinct styles.

Use the tools here to help you find the right citation style and manage all your bibliographic records.

Writing Tips

AIP Style Manual, 4th ed. 
From American Institute of Physics. Entire manual is available for download for free.

"Writing a better scientific article" by K. Friedman, Assistant Editor of Reviews of Modern Physics
Helpful tips with lots of examples

Scientific writing for young astronomers : a collection of papers on scientific writing
by European Astronomical Society
@ Dirac QB14.2.S25 2011. In-Library use only.

Writing science : how to write papers that get cited and proposals that get funded
By Joshua Schimel
@ Dirac T11.S35 2012  

Scientific writing 2.0 : a reader and writer's guide
e-Book. Available for FSU library users

Tips for wiriting your first scientific literature review article

Practical tips published in ASBMB Today magazine of the American Society of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology


Style Manuals

The ACS Style Guide
QD8.5 .A25 2006
3rd ed.
Available on Ready Reference at the Circulation Desk, Dirac Science Library.
Also available as e-Book: Click here
Chap 1: Writing a scientific paper
Chap 14: References

Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers
7th ed. Style Manual Committee Council of Science Editors
T11.S386 2006
Available on Ready Reference at the Circulation Desk, Dirac Science Library

Citation Management

Citation management tools help save, organize, and format bibliographic citations in a variety of styles.

RefWorks is a web-based citation management system provided by the FSU Libraries for use by the FSU community.

EndNote Web is the web version of EndNote software. Records from EndNote Web can be exported to an individual's EndNote database.


Zotero is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources.

Mendeley reference manager logo

Mendeley is a free way to manage PDFs and citations. It consists of a desktop client and a web applicatio nwhich facilitates collaboration and sharing.

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